SFG Game Design Submission Requirements
last updated Jan 8, 2019
SlugFest Games is now accepting game submissions. If you’d like to submit a game, here are three things you need to know, with more explanation below.
- Each submitted game idea must be accompanied by a signed Game Evaluation Waiver. This document is to protect SFG from legal liability. Games submitted without a signed waiver will be deleted, unopened, with no response.
- Your original submission should be in the form of a one-page sell sheet (accompanied by the waiver) emailed to email@example.com. If we like your idea, we will ask for a complete rules document, then a Tabletop Simulator module of your game. Physical prototypes will be rejected.
- We are looking for games that are well-tested, highly interactive, interesting, and expandable.
Still with us? Good! Here are more details:
Submissions will go through a multi-stage process. Essentially, if we like your sell sheet we will ask you for a rules document, and if we like your rules document, we will ask you for a Tabletop Simulator module of your game.
- Stage 1: send a signed Game Evaluation Waiver and your one-page sell sheet to firstname.lastname@example.org. The sell sheet must include basic information about the game, including a description of the theme and the core mechanics, a high-level components list, the number of players, age range and game length. After submission, SFG will review your sell sheet in about three weeks’ time (we aim for this timeline, but do not guarantee it). If we like your pitch, we will invite you to proceed to Stage 2.
- Stage 2: if you are invited to submit a rules document, it must be a complete description of how to play your game, including a detailed components list, a setup section, and complete play instructions. Again, if we like your game, we will invite you to proceed to Stage 3.
- Stage 3: if you are invited to submit a Tabletop Simulator module, it must be a completely functional prototype of your game for that platform. In addition, you will be asked during Stage 3 to provide SFG with several months to evaluate your game while no other publisher is doing so. SFG does all of its playtesting on Tabletop Simulator, since we are a decentralized company with no physical headquarters. If you are not familiar with prototyping games in Tabletop Simulator, there are many resources online to help you with that process, including this video and this tutorial. Please bear in mind that, in order for SFG to see the art on the game components you import, you must make those art files publicly available. A Tabletop Simulator module that contains references to files on your local hard drive will not work for anyone but you!
If your game passes all three stages, SFG will begin the process of contract negotiations with you for rights to your game.
A submitted game will be assessed based on criteria that include the following:
Your game must be functional and well-tested.
- It must have a clear rules set covering all cases – if we try your game and run into five different rules holes in our first playthrough, that’s bad.
- You must have playtested with more than just one group of friends or family – if your game doesn’t function properly unless you are personally seated at the table answering questions and “driving the game”, that’s bad.
- Your game must not lead to broken game states, allow degenerate game-breaking strategies, or have other glaring issues.
- Your game must work well for all of the player counts for which it is rated.
- If your game is weak on this criterion, then the rest of the categories below don’t matter.
Your game must be interactive.
- Players should be able to affect each other in meaningful ways.
- Your game should never feel like “group solitaire”.
- If players spend the whole game only looking at their own board/cards/etc., that’s probably bad.
Your game must have interesting choices.
- Players should have useful things to do at all stages that meaningfully impact the game.
- If the game’s final outcome is inevitable or close to it, the game should be over or close to it.
- If we get to the end of the game and want to play again, your game probably did well here.
Your game must have a compelling theme.
- Your theme should be fundamental to game play, and not just a tacked-on afterthought.
- Comedy is a plus.
- Character-driven story is a plus.
Elegant games are preferred.
- The best submissions will generate interesting, fun, varied gameplay from a simple ruleset.
- The best submissions will have high replay value, with different plays of the game being quite different.
Expandable games are preferred.
- Expandability should be baked into the core of the game, not tacked on. (Dominion and The Red Dragon Inn are good examples here.)
- Adding expansions should result in a notably different play experience.